Work at Fua’amotu International Airport is almost complete, enabling larger airplanes to land.
CEO of Tonga Airports Ltd., Viliami Ma’ake, said that the resurfacing of Fua’amotu Airport runway makes it possible for a 777 jetliner to land on Tongatapu. The biggest passenger aircraft that could land at Fua’amotu at present is the Boeing 767.
Enabling an aircraft the size of the Boeing 777 to land in Tonga will widen the options for direct flights to be negotiated from countries such as China and South Korea.
Direct flights coming into Fua’amotu currently are from New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji.
Upgrading of the security services as well as a redesigning of the terminal was included in the upgrading of the Fua’amotu Airport.
The Lupepau’u International Airport in Vava’u also underwent a resurfacing and a minor extension of the runway, which would now enable the MA60 aircraft to comfortably turn around. The biggest aircraft that now land at Lupepau’u is a New Zealand Air Force Hercules.
Both the upgrade of Fua’amotu and Lupepau’u was financed by a US$28 million grant from the World Bank.
Lupepau’u International Airport will start receiving scheduled flights from Nadi, Fiji in April. It will be the beginning of international air service provided by Fiji Airways, connecting Tonga to Nadi, and to the rest of the world.